I have a strange confession to make. I've become obsessed with posts and drainpipes. The first one that caught my eye was simply an interesting composition, a striking mixture of colours and textures, but since then my eyes have been tuned to the possibilities of such objects. What has struck me is how essential they have become in the city, not just for the passage of water, but also as a means for people to communicate with each other.
The photo above is of a post opposite the Divan Du Monde nightclub and concert venue. Once more, it was the composition that first struck me. In a colourful city, here was something that had become almost accidentally monochrome. Although it is painted black and stood in front of a dark wall, even the stickers placed on the post have seen their colours absorbed into the sombre surroundings. Looking more closely, what I noticed next was how old these stickers were. Nowhere do we see the name of a group, but just ghostly figures of waving musicians who have perhaps long since argued and gone seperate ways. At the bottom, one date; December 2003. Six years of concerts have passed since the sticker was placed on the post, and whilst other groups and stickers have come and gone, this one has now almost merged into the post itself. Great songs and musicians become part of history. Others simply become torn traces scattered around the city.
Depending on where the post is situated, the messages seem to differ; some promote events, some offer services, and some simply to protest. Most of these messages are ephemeral and clearly readable, proposing something and offering a tear-off phone number for curious passers-by to call. What I have become most interested in though are the fragments, the parts that have stayed clinging to the post when somebody tried to remove the message. Above, once more the post wants to be part of the background, to be invisible against the sandstone wall behind, but here a single eye and a very insincere smile catch my attention. Could that be the President? Had it been a caricature with a smart message I probably wouldn't have been interested, but this rather creepy image seems to say so much more. He's watching us and has something planned that we probably won't like. And that makes him smile.